Yuan Zhang


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Noise Robust Named Entity Understanding for Voice Assistants
Deepak Muralidharan | Joel Ruben Antony Moniz | Sida Gao | Xiao Yang | Justine Kao | Stephen Pulman | Atish Kothari | Ray Shen | Yinying Pan | Vivek Kaul | Mubarak Seyed Ibrahim | Gang Xiang | Nan Dun | Yidan Zhou | Andy O | Yuan Zhang | Pooja Chitkara | Xuan Wang | Alkesh Patel | Kushal Tayal | Roger Zheng | Peter Grasch | Jason D Williams | Lin Li
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Papers

Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Entity Linking (EL) play an essential role in voice assistant interaction, but are challenging due to the special difficulties associated with spoken user queries. In this paper, we propose a novel architecture that jointly solves the NER and EL tasks by combining them in a joint reranking module. We show that our proposed framework improves NER accuracy by up to 3.13 % and EL accuracy by up to 3.6 % in F1 score. The features used also lead to better accuracies in other natural language understanding tasks, such as domain classification and semantic parsing.


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PAWS : Paraphrase Adversaries from Word ScramblingPAWS: Paraphrase Adversaries from Word Scrambling
Yuan Zhang | Jason Baldridge | Luheng He
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Existing paraphrase identification datasets lack sentence pairs that have high lexical overlap without being paraphrases. Models trained on such data fail to distinguish pairs like flights from New York to Florida and flights from Florida to New York. This paper introduces PAWS (Paraphrase Adversaries from Word Scrambling), a new dataset with 108,463 well-formed paraphrase and non-paraphrase pairs with high lexical overlap. Challenging pairs are generated by controlled word swapping and back translation, followed by fluency and paraphrase judgments by human raters. State-of-the-art models trained on existing datasets have dismal performance on PAWS (40 % accuracy) ; however, including PAWS training data for these models improves their accuracy to 85 % while maintaining performance on existing tasks. In contrast, models that do not capture non-local contextual information fail even with PAWS training examples. As such, PAWS provides an effective instrument for driving further progress on models that better exploit structure, context, and pairwise comparisons.


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Points, Paths, and Playscapes : Large-scale Spatial Language Understanding Tasks Set in the Real World
Jason Baldridge | Tania Bedrax-Weiss | Daphne Luong | Srini Narayanan | Bo Pang | Fernando Pereira | Radu Soricut | Michael Tseng | Yuan Zhang
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Spatial Language Understanding

Spatial language understanding is important for practical applications and as a building block for better abstract language understanding. Much progress has been made through work on understanding spatial relations and values in images and texts as well as on giving and following navigation instructions in restricted domains. We argue that the next big advances in spatial language understanding can be best supported by creating large-scale datasets that focus on points and paths based in the real world, and then extending these to create online, persistent playscapes that mix human and bot players, where the bot players must learn, evolve, and survive according to their depth of understanding of scenes, navigation, and interactions.


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Aspect-augmented Adversarial Networks for Domain Adaptation
Yuan Zhang | Regina Barzilay | Tommi Jaakkola
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 5

We introduce a neural method for transfer learning between two (source and target) classification tasks or aspects over the same domain. Rather than training on target labels, we use a few keywords pertaining to source and target aspects indicating sentence relevance instead of document class labels. Documents are encoded by learning to embed and softly select relevant sentences in an aspect-dependent manner. A shared classifier is trained on the source encoded documents and labels, and applied to target encoded documents. We ensure transfer through aspect-adversarial training so that encoded documents are, as sets, aspect-invariant. Experimental results demonstrate that our approach outperforms different baselines and model variants on two datasets, yielding an improvement of 27 % on a pathology dataset and 5 % on a review dataset.